The coronavirus pandemic has impacted everyone on earth in some way or another. It has killed hundreds of thousands, shut down major industries, put millions out of work, and forced billions to engage in social distancing.
Music is near and dear to many. While it may seem trivial given the current situation, music and live shows bring joy, happiness, and a sense of community that is difficult to find elsewhere. As the realities of COVID-19 come into focus and concerts of all sizes see indefinite postponement, it has become difficult for many to cope with the prospect of not knowing when we will once again gather in groups for a communal experience like a music event. The musicians themselves are missing the experiences just as much as the fans, and it goes far beyond their ability to earn a paycheck.
As Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl explained in an article he penned for The Atlantic on Monday, “I know that those of us who don’t have to work in hospitals or deliver packages are the lucky ones, but still, I’m hungry for a big old plate of sweaty, ear-shredding, live rock and roll, ASAP. The kind that makes your heart race, your body move, and your soul stir with passion.”
Throughout the article, Grohl went into great detail about the qualities of the live show he holds dear and the need for musician/fan engagement,
Forever regarded as one of the most triumphant live performances of all time (clocking in at a mere 22 minutes) Freddie and Queen somehow managed to remind us that behind every rock god is someone who puts on their studded arm bracelet, absurdly tight white tank, and stonewashed jeans one pant leg at a time just like the rest of us. But, it wasn’t necessarily Queen’s musical magic that made history that day. It was Freddie’s connection with the audience that transformed that dilapidated soccer stadium into a sonic cathedral. In broad daylight, he majestically made 72,000 people his instrument, joining them in harmonious unison.
He continued, “As a lifelong concertgoer, I know this feeling well. I myself have been pressed against the cold front rail of an arena rock show. I have air-drummed along to my favorite songs in the rafters, and been crushed in the crowd, dancing to dangerous decibel levels while lost in the rhythm.”
Grohl described a particularly striking experience when he went to a U2 show where the band arrived on stage with the house lights still on and performed without their usual light show and big room theatrics.
“And with that simple gesture,” he said, “we were reminded that we are all indeed just people. People that need to connect with one another.”
While Grohl acknowledged that it seems as though there is no light at the end of our proverbial social distancing tunnel, the music will return at some point. He didn’t try and speculate on when that might be, as that would be irresponsible, but he assured the reader that it would happen.
“I do know that we will do it again, because we have to,” he concluded. “It’s not a choice. We’re human. We need moments that reassure us that we are not alone. That we are understood. That we are imperfect. And, most important, that we need each other… together, we are instruments in a sonic cathedral, one that we build together night after night. And one that we will surely build again.”
Read the entire Dave Grohl-penned article here.